How to Measure the Society?
The Riigikogu Toimetised conversation circle on 28 May discussed the Estonian Human Development Report.
The participants of the conversation circle were: CEO of the Estonian Cooperation Assembly Olari Koppel, Member of the Riigikogu Marko Pomerants (Pro Patria and Res Publica Union), Senior Researcher of Tallinn University of Technology Kaire Põder, Director of the Estonian Institute for Futures Studies under Tallinn University Erik Terk and Professor of Comparative Public Policy of Tallinn University Anu Toots. RiTo Editor-in-Chief Helle Ruusing acted as the moderator and compiled a summary of the discussion.
The first issue to be discussed was why the Estonian society needs a human development report. The participants in the conversation circle found that the report should be regarded as a platform which can be used as a starting point for initiating a discussion on the progress and versions of the development of Estonia. The compilers of the report hope that on the basis of the issues dealt with in the report, it will be possible to have a debate on what is going on in the society, what should be done and what should be changed. The Human Development Report is not focused on the work of researchers. Real research work and the format of this report are different. The report will not be included among the scientific research work of its authors. At the same time they think this kind of work gives them great satisfaction because without the report, the social scientists would have no possibility for writing in Estonian.
Several issues that were raised in connection with the Human Development Report were discussed in the conversation circle – from social coherence to the increasing migration of people from the country to town and from Estonia to abroad. The problems connected with welfare and welfare services were also touched upon. The Government is first of all expected to demonstrate decisiveness, especially when we look at the social-demographic indicators of our population. The participants do not join the wailing that Estonia is being drained of people, but the figures show that some decisive steps have to be taken. The lack of resources is spoken about, but at the same time there is quite a lot of wasting going on in the country. Mainly people and their abilities that could be used more resourcefully are wasted. For example, we can hear about underpaid women, and older people who could and often would like to work according to their abilities, but so far the state has made little efforts for their inclusion. And certainly those people who live in Estonia but whose native language is not Estonian and whose potential is also underused deserve more attention. The Estonian employment policy is extremely weak. In conclusion it was found that the general administration in our country is relatively smooth, for which Estonia has also been praised, but we mostly lack more focused policy because general administration is good, but it is not enough for development.